More Shit Jobs that I had in England

I’m going to try to confine this to jobs that I had during my time of living in Wembley but it’s hard to figure out. I refreshed my memory by looking at an old resume but I always fudged the dates hard on my resume so I don’t know what the true dates are. I’d only work at a place for like a month and I’d put that I worked there for six months. Shit like this.

The last job that I talked about was the overnight shift data entry job in a warehouse.

By this point, I was specifically looking for data entry jobs because I was sick of hearing, “You’re too quiet and won’t fit in.” I sent literally thousands of resumes out and went on hundreds of job interviews and I would hear this same exact phrase over and over and over again.

I never had this problem in the US. Not once. I was at least as withdrawn in the US if not more so but it was never an issue. Certainly not in terms of finding work. What difference does it make if somebody is quiet or not? This is a job. Not a popularity contest.

I think that it just comes down to people in the US being more accepting of others. In the UK, employers, and I have to assume people in general are looking for something very specific. And if you’re not what they have in mind, you’re not getting the job.

What other biases do they have? Racial? Religious? Nationality? Who knows? But they were very comfortable telling me that they’re not giving me the job because I’m too quiet and wouldn’t fit in. No fucking way would any employer in the US say this, even if it was an issue, which it isn’t (at least in my experience).

I’ve had jobs in the US and somebody will make an offhand comment about me not saying much, and other people would stand up for me. “That’s just how he is. There’s nothing wrong with it.” Much more open-minded people.

So I got this data entry job. It was during the day, normal hours, so that was a big improvement. And it was in central London. I don’t remember how I got the job. Maybe through an agency but I’m not sure.

It was a telemarketing company or something. I don’t know exactly what the company at large did but in the department I was working in, people were making phone calls to “government and business leaders” and asking them how they enjoy British Telecom’s various services. This company presumably had some contract with BT, which is the main phone and internet company in the UK.

They were also making other types of calls. A lot of the calls weren’t in English. There were people who spoke Spanish and French and whatever. I don’t know who they were calling.

My job was to listen to these recorded calls and transcribe what was being said. I think. That seems like it would take a long time. But I was definitely listening to the calls so that’s probably what it was.

I was the only one doing this. Everyone else was a telemarketer or whatever the term would be. There were 20 or 30 people making these calls, I would guess.

The boss was an asshole. He was maybe in his late 20s. I think an English guy. I don’t think that he was white but I don’t know what he was. Middle Eastern? Mixed race? I don’t know.

He never really gave me any problems, that I can remember, but he was a dick. There was a Spanish guy who had some issue (I don’t remember what but it wasn’t anything unreasonable) and this boss yelled at him like, “Just do your job” and threatened to fire him. Then that guy just sat there for a few minutes, obviously contemplating whether or not he should leave, but he must have really needed the job because he stayed.

Then there was a woman in her 50s, I’d guess, who made a jokey comment about the work being difficult and this boss said, “Well, that’s your job” in an insulting fashion.

So I did this job for a month, maybe two months. Towards the end, they had some of the telemarketers help with the work and they also hired a woman to help with this. There was a deadline to finish these things.

I was the only one who knew how to type. I was blowing everyone away. There was no problem with my work. Everybody was happy with the work, even this giant asshole of a boss.

Then the job came to an end. We finished all of this work. And that was it.

They asked this woman who they hired late in the day to help with this work if she wanted to work as a telemarketer. And she agreed to this. They didn’t ask me. I wouldn’t want to do that kind of work anyway but it’s yet another example of this being too quiet and not fitting in issue.

Then I got a job cleaning schools. This was through an agency. The agency was right near to where I lived. The agent really stressed the need to have good stamina, as though mopping a floor requires particularly good stamina.

So I went to this school. It was at night. There was a boss and two or three other people also on this cleaning crew. Everybody was black except me. I believe that they were all immigrants. There were two women from the Caribbean and an African guy.

We’re given different areas that we have to clean. It was just mopping, from what I recall.

One of the teachers was in the school for some reason. It was a black English woman. And she complains about my mop. “It looks like that was used to mop the toilets.”

Well, it is used to mop the toilets but what real difference does it make? It’s cleaned. And people aren’t pissing on the floor.

So she tells me not to clean her classroom. Fine. What the fuck do I care? But she was a giant bitch. So then she complains to my boss. “I don’t want him cleaning my classroom. That mop looks like it was used to clean the toilets.”

By the way, people in England say “toilets” when they mean “bathroom”. She wasn’t suggesting that I was cleaning the actual commodes with the mop. Just the bathroom floor. Which I was. It’s what I was told to do. There aren’t separate mops for the bathrooms. Fuck you.

But this bitch wanted to get me fired and/or this boss lady. And for what? I’m cleaning the floor. She has an issue with the mop so she tells me not to clean her room. So fine. I didn’t. The issue is resolved. But she wanted to cause problems.

Anyway, I didn’t go back. I think that I only did the job for one day. Maybe two. So maybe there was a problem. Maybe they asked the agency not to send me back. But I got along with everyone just fine. Except for that bitch teacher, who shouldn’t have even been in the school.

I was also working as a teaching assistant and exam invigilator throughout all of this, very sporadically. I’d usually do one day and they wouldn’t ask me back. This was for teaching assistant jobs. I never went to a teaching assistant job for more than one day.

Then I got a job at a shipping company. I don’t know the term. An independent shipping company, similar to the US Mail or Royal Mail or whatever but a private company. Like UPS or something but nowhere near that level. I never even heard of this company. This was a job through an agency, of course. The same agency who sent me to the school for the cleaning job, so they couldn’t have got particularly bad feedback.

This was around Christmas. They needed more people to help load the trucks. So the boss shows me around the facility. Sorting machines and whatnot. Mildly interesting. Then we get to the conveyor belt that has all of the packages on it. This is where I was going to be working.

The boss was in his late 30s, I guess. He was a white English guy. And he was friendly. He asked me about the US and how I’m finding England and shit like this.

There were different roles in this conveyor belt operation. There were like eight people working there. Different parts of the conveyor belt had different jobs.

I started by loading the conveyor belt with packages. We had a big thing of packages and I had to put them on the conveyor belt. I did that for a while. Then I went to the end of the conveyor belt and took the packages off. I did that for a while. No problem.

Then this boss left. He went home. A new boss came in. He was some old English white guy. Maybe five foot two. He tells me to go to the section where you have to load the trucks.

There’s a giant, cavernous truck. And what you need to do here is hurl the packages like 20 feet in the air so that you fill the truck completely full with packages. And the packages weighed up to 25 pounds.

I’m not some muscle man by any means. I’m a slim guy. I can’t fucking do this. I tried. But after about 30 minutes, it was obvious that I physically could not hurl these packages the distance that was required.

So I go to this old boss.

Me: I can’t throw these packages.

Boss: What do you mean you can’t throw them?

Me: Just physically. I can’t do it.

Boss: Oh.

Me: So…can I go to a different part of the conveyor?

Boss: What if everybody said they don’t like to throw the packages?

Me: I’m here as a temp. I physically can’t throw the packages. So what do you want me to do? Quit?

Boss: I don’t know. That’s for you to decide.

So I left.

Next day, I’m speaking to the agent. He asks me how it went. I tell him. He says, “Did you ask to go to a different part of the conveyor?” I said that I did.

So this agent agrees that I did the right thing and that little boss was just an asshole but I never heard from this agency again. At least I got two jobs out of them. Usually, I’d just get one. At best.

2 thoughts on “More Shit Jobs that I had in England

  1. Reminds me when I did work experience. In the UK when you’re about 14/15 they send you out to work at some shithole for “work experience” for a week. I went to the company that my brother worked at – a small warehouse furniture operation run by this psychotic cunt and her beta husband. They ask me and my brother one day to load pallets with these table legs. Basically drag the table legs over and stack them four feet high onto this little wooden structure. But the problem is is that we’re both teenage boys. I weighed about 100lbs soaking wet. The table legs were made entirely out of cast fucking iron. Cast iron. They were about 2ft tall and you couldn’t hold them anywhere because the tops were square and sharp and rusted. We had to physically drag them across the floor which left a huge scratch. They even got the stoner bloke there to put them on and he had trouble with it. They then bitched at me and my brother. Cunt I’m not even being paid! What a fucking joke.

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